Wednesday, November 17, 2021

November is Doom - Converge & Chelsea Wolfe :"Blood Moon"

Imagine two of your all time favorite artists on one collaborative album. It can be overwhelming. This came about after an onstage collaboration during the Roadburn festival. Not the first time something like this has happened. As Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou have made a series of similar albums. I am often underwhelmed by Thou, but a huger Emma Ruth Rundle fan and feels she brought the best out in that band. With these two I like them almost equally , I have been listening to Converge since the 90s so we have more history, but Chelsea Wolfe's career I have champions for over a decade now. This does bring out the best in me as I prefer there dark creepy melodic stuff over when they are just a total punk rock freak out that borders on punk which they repress til the second song. It is reined in for more chilling dissonance. The album leans in more of a sludge direction though by the highly experimental definition of that sub-genre, Wolfe's solo work had those elements previously so this is not a surprise.  

With "Coil" it is feels like Wolfe took the reins when it come to the song writing as it is more in her wheelhouse, even when not lingering in folk and the drums kick in. It's like shimmer symphonic sludge. When it gets heavier if those are Bannon's vocals it is some of his best work yet. Though by the time it gets to "Flower Moon" it is clear Steven Von Till of Neurosis and Stephen Brodsky of Cave In are helping out with the vocals here. Which makes me rethink those praises for Bannon's singing. There is more of a noise rock vibe to " Tongues Playing Dead". Which has less to do with Ms Wolfe. While we are on the subject of collaborators Ben Chisholm from Wolfe's band also figures in heavily on portions with synths . Chelsea uses a brighter vocal tone than normal for " Lord of Liars" .  Which gives her parts more of a 90s alt sound. Converge sticks to the mathy jerk of their normal brand of hard core here.   

"Failure Forever" has more of a grunge tinged feel to it, when not giving into the band's more explosive tendencies. Brodsky gives it an even more al rock feel with his vocals on the chorus. The slower darker sway of " Scorpions Sting" could have come from a Chelsea Wolfe album. "Daimon" starts off more like a Chelsea Wolfe song then when the male vocals come in it takes on a more metallic punch. This finds them in a more doom touched lumber.  More gloomy folk collides with Converge's dark side which would appeal more to fans of doom than they are probably aware of.   'Crimson Stone" falls back into the more introspective power balladry Wolfe is known for . There is a stormy tension to it that slowly builds.  The last song "Blood Dawn" feels more like a Chelsea Wolfe song as well. It serves as more of an atmospheric outro than the kinds of powerful explosions of sonics and emotions the rest of the album is made from. With that said I will round this one up to a 10.  

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